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Encyclopedia > Untranslatability

Untranslatability is a property of a text, or of any utterance, in one language, for which no equivalent text or utterance can be found in another language.


Terms are neither exclusively translatable nor exclusively untranslatable; rather, the degree of difficulty of translation depends on their nature, as well as the translator's abilities. Look up translate in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


Quite often, a text or utterance that is considered to be "untranslatable" is actually a lacuna, or lexical gap. That is to say that there is no one-to-one equivalence between the word, expression or turn of phrase in the source language and another word, expression or turn of phrase in the target language. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


A translator, however, can resort to a number of translation procedures to compensate.

Contents

Translation procedures

The translation procedures that are available in cases of lacunae, or lexical gaps, include the following:


Adaptation

An adaptation, also known as a free translation, is a translation procedure whereby the translator replaces a social, or cultural, reality in the source text with a corresponding reality in the target text; this new reality would be more usual to the audience of the target text.


For example, in the Belgian comic book The Adventures of Tintin, Tintin's trusty canine sidekick Milou, is translated as Snowy in English, Bobbie in Dutch, and Struppi in German; likewise the detectives Dupond and Dupont become Thomson and Thompson in English, Jansen and Janssen in Dutch, Schultze and Schulze in German, Hernández and Fernández in Spanish, and 杜本 and 杜朋 (Dùběn and Dùpéng) in Chinese — the Spanish and Chinese examples not being quite so faithful translations since the pronunciation of the two names is different, and not just the spelling. A comic book is a magazine or book containing the art form of comics. ... The main cast of the series. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ...


Similarly, when Quebec playwright Michel Tremblay adapted Gogol's play Revizor (The Inspector General), as Le gars de Québec, he transposed the setting from Russia to his home province. ‹ The template below has been proposed for deletion. ... Michel Tremblay (born June 25, 1942) is an important Quebec novelist and playwright. ... Nikolai Gogol by Alexander Ivanov Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol (Russian: IPA: ) (April 1, 1809 — March 4, 1852) was a Russian-language writer of Ukrainian origin. ... The Inspector General or The Government Inspector (in Russian, Ревизор) is a satirical play by 19th century Russian playwright and novelist Nikolai Gogol, published and produced in 1836. ...


This is particularly notable in the translation of the names of Disney characters, as many names employ similar vocal sounds or puns. Disney may refer to: The Walt Disney Company and its divisions, including Walt Disney Pictures. ... A pun (also known as paronomasia) is a deliberate confusion of similar-sounding words or phrases for comic or serious effect. ...


Adaptation is often used when translating poetry, works of theatre and advertising. The Chinese poem Quatrain on Heavenly Mountain by Emperor Gaozong (Song Dynasty) Poetry (from the Greek , poiesis, making or creating) is a form of art in which language is used for its aesthetic qualities in addition to, or in lieu of, its ostensible meaning. ... Serge Sudeikins poster for the Bat Theatre (1922). ... Commercialism redirects here. ...


Borrowing

Borrowing is a translation procedure whereby the translator uses a word or expression from the source text in the target text holus-bolus.


Borrowings are normally printed in italics if they are not considered to have been naturalized in the target language.

See also: Loanword

A loanword (or loan word) is a word directly taken into one language from another with little or no translation. ...

Calque

Calque is a translation procedure whereby a translator translates an expression (or, occasionally, a word) literally into the target language, translating the elements of the expression word for word. For example, the German word "Alleinvertretungsanspruch" can be calqued to "single-representation-claim", but a proper translation would result in "Exclusive Mandate". Word-by-word translations usually have comic value, but can be a means to save as much of the original style as possible, especially when the source text is ambiguous, or undecipherable to the translator. // In linguistics, a calque (pronounced ) or loan translation is a word or phrase borrowed from another language by literal, word-for-word (Latin: verbum pro verbo) or root-for-root translation. ... An exclusive mandate refers to a governments assertion as the only legitimate authority over a certain territory, although in fact one (or more) other government(s) control part of the territory with stable, de facto sovereignty. ...


Compensation

Compensation is a translation procedure whereby the translator solves the problem of aspects of the source text that cannot take the same form in the target language by replacing these aspects with other elements or forms in the source text.


For example, many languages have two forms of the second person pronoun: an informal form and a formal form (the French tu and vous, the Spanish and usted, the German du and Sie, to name but three), while most modern-day dialects of English no longer recognize the T-V distinction, and have retained the you form only. Hence, to translate a text from one of these languages to English, the translator may have to compensate by using a first name or nickname, or by using syntactic phrasing that are viewed as informal in English (I'm, you're, gonna, dontcha, etc.), or by using English words of the formal and informal registers. In linguistics and grammar, a pronoun is a pro-form that substitutes for a noun phrase. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... A given name specifies and differentiates between members of a group of individuals, especially a family, all of whose members usually share the same family name. ... // A nickname is a short, clever, cute, derogatory, or otherwise substitute name for a person or things proper name (for example, Bob, Rob, Robby, Robbie, Robi, Robin, Robbo, RobBob, Bobby, Rab, Rabbie, Bert, Bertie, Butch, Bobbers, Bobert, Beto, Bobadito, and Robban (in Sweden), are all nicknames for Robert). ... For other uses, see Syntax (disambiguation). ... In linguistics, a register is a subset of a language used for a particular purpose or in a particular social setting. ...


Paraphrase

Paraphrase, sometimes called periphrasis, is a translation procedure whereby the translator replaces a word in the source text by a group of words or an expression in the target text. Periphrasis, like its Latin counterpart circumlocution, is a figure of speech where the meaning of a word or phrase is indirectly expressed through several or many words. ...


An extreme example of paraphrase can be found in the BBC reports of June 22, 2004 of the identification of the "most untranslatable" word. The word chosen is Ilunga, a word supposedly from a language in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The BBC article states that "Ilunga means 'a person who is ready to forgive any abuse for the first time, to tolerate it a second time, but never a third time'." The British Broadcasting Corporation, usually known as the BBC (and also informally known as the Beeb or Auntie) is the largest broadcasting corporation in the world in terms of audience numbers, employing 26,000 staff in the United Kingdom alone and with a budget of more than GB£4 billion... June 22 is the 173rd day of the year (174th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar, with 192 days remaining. ... 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Ilunga is a relatively common personal name in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. ...


Incidentally, the word Ilunga is of questionable provenance, as some Congolese (notably the Congo government) claim that it is simply a name, without additional connotations. See the article Ilunga for more information. Ilunga is a relatively common personal name in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. ...


Another example of paraphrase is the Portuguese word saudade, which is often translated at a loss into English as "missing a person who is gone". Saudade (pron. ...


Translator's note

A translator's note is a note (usually a footnote or an endnote) added by the translator to the target text to provide additional information pertaining to the limits of the translation, the cultural background or any other explanations. A footnote is a note of text placed at the bottom of a page in a book or document. ... An EndNote library and an individual reference. ...


Some translation exams allow or demand such notes. Some translators regard resorting to notes as a failure, although this view is not shared by most professionals.


Examples

In the case of translating the English word have to Arabic, Finnish, Hebrew, Hindi, Irish, Japanese, Turkish, or Urdu, some difficulty may be found. There is no specific verb with this meaning in these languages. Instead, for "I have X" these languages use a combination of words that mean X is to me or (in Turkish) my X exists or (in Hebrew) there is X to me. In the case of Irish, this phrasing has passed over into Hiberno-English. A similar construction occurs in Russian: here, the verb is replaced by a phrase that literally means at me there is. (Russian does have a word that means "to have": иметь (imet') — but it is rarely used by Russian speakers in the same way English speakers use the word have). Arabic ( or just ) is the largest living member of the Semitic language family in terms of speakers. ... “Hebrew” redirects here. ... Hindi (हिन्दी) is a language spoken mainly in North and Central India. ... The phrase Zaban-e Urdu-e Mualla written in Urdu Urdu () is an Indo-European language of the Indo-Aryan family that developed under Persian, Turkish, Arabic, Hindi, and Sanskrit influence in South Asia during the Delhi Sultanate and Mughal Empire (1200-1800). ... Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ...


Another example is family members. English has different words for nephew, niece, and cousin (note the use of cousin for both sexes). Romance languages distinguish between the latter, but not always between the former: for example Italian cugino and cugina for cousin (male) and cousin (female), but nipote (nephew/niece) for both genders. Moreover, nipote can also mean grandchild (a distinction between male and female can, however, be made by adding the male or female article before the noun). Dutch, on the other hand, distinguishes gender: neef (male) and nicht (female), but it does not have different terms for nephew and cousin. That is, both a son of a sibling and a son of an uncle are called neef. Sibling is another word for which German has an expression (Geschwister) but Dutch does not.


In Arabic, there is a special word for an uncle who is the mother's brother: Khal. There is also a special word for an uncle who is the father's brother: 'am. Such words are untraslatable into English. The closest translation is "uncle," which is gives no indication as from which parent's side he is related to the individual. Similarly, in Arabic, there are specific words for the father's sister, mother's sister, a person whose father died, a person whose mother died, and an array of words that describe specific actions by animals and humans that do not have a direct translation into English.


Conversely, in Arabic, there is no word for "cousin", either; you must say "mother's brother son" or an equivalent. Similarly, in Japanese there are separate words for "older brother" and "younger brother", and likewise "older sister" and "younger sister". Swedish has words tant for "auntie" or lady in general, moster for maternal aunt and faster for paternal aunt.


The distinction between maternal and paternal uncles has caused several mistranslations; for example, in Walt Disney's DuckTales, Huey, Dewey, and Louie's Uncle Scrooge was translated Roope-setä in Finnish (Paternal Uncle Robert) before it was known Scrooge was Donald's maternal uncle. The proper translation would have been Roope-eno (Maternal Uncle Robert). Uncle Scrooge is "Farbror Joakim (Paternal Uncle Joachim) in Swedish. For the company founded by Disney, see The Walt Disney Company. ... This article is on the animated series. ... Scrooge McDuck or Uncle Scrooge is a fictional Scottish character created by Carl Barks who first appeared in Dell Comics Four Color Comics #178 Christmas on Bear Mountain in December 1947. ...


Conversely, English is entirely lacking some grammatical categories. For example, there is no simple way in English to contrast Finnish kirjoittaa (continuing, corresponding to English to write) and kirjoitella (a regular frequentative, "to occasionally write short passages at a time"). Another example for a tricky English construct would be: How would you ask a boy who has several brothers "which" (or "which-th") son of his parents he is, such that his reply would be something like: "I am the third son"? ("Which in order of number?") This is a straightforward construct in some other languages, which have an exact word for "which-th", such as Finnish mones, Latin quotus, German wievielte, Dutch hoeveelste or Chinese 第幾. Further examples derive from the fact that English has fewer tenses than Romance languages. As in Latin, Italian has for example two distinct declined past tenses, where io fui (passato remoto) and io sono stato (passato prossimo) both mean I was, the former indicating a concluded action in the (remote) past, and the latter an action that holds some connection to the present. The "passato remoto" is often used for narrative history (for example novels). The difference is nowadays also partly geographic. In the north of Italy (and standard Italian) the "passato remoto" is rarely used in spoken language, whereas in the south it often takes the place of the "passato prossimo". In grammar, a frequentative form of a word is one which indicates repeated action. ... Latin is an ancient Indo-European language originally spoken in Latium, the region immediately surrounding Rome. ...


Likewise, English lacks a productive grammatical means to show indirection but must instead rely on periphrasis, that is the use of multiple words to explain an idea. Finnish grammar, on the contrary, allows the regular production of a series verbal derivatives, each of which involves a greater degree of indirection. For example, on the basis of the verb vetää (to pull), it is possible to produce: In computer programming, indirection is the ability to reference something using a name, reference, or container instead of the value itself. ...

  • vetää (pull),
  • vedättää (cause something/someone to pull),
  • vedätyttää (cause something/someone to cause something/someone to pull),
  • vedätätyttää (cause something/someone to cause something/someone to cause something/someone to pull).
Finnish English Translation/Paraphrase of boldface verb
Traktori vetää. A tractor pulls. pulls
Ajomies vedättää. A driver operates the tractor causes something to pull
Urakoitsija vedätyttää. A subcontractor directs the driver to pull with his tractor. causes someone to cause something to pull
Ja firma vedätätyttää. The corporation assigns the subcontractor to have the driver operate to pull with his tractor. causes someone to cause someone to cause something to pull


Another instance is the Russian word пошлость /posh-lost'/. This noun roughly means a mixture of banality, commonality and vulgarity. Vladimir Nabokov mentions it as one of the hardest Russian words to translate precisely into English. Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov (Russian: Влади́мир Влади́мирович Набо́ков, pronounced ) (April 22 [O.S. April 10] 1899, Saint Petersburg – July 2, 1977, Montreux) was a Russian-American author. ...


Another well-known example comes from the Portuguese or Spanish verbs ser and estar, both translatable as to be (see Romance copula). However, ser is used only with essence or nature, while estar is used with states or conditions. Sometimes this information is not very relevant for the meaning of the whole sentence and the translator will ignore it, whereas at other times it can be retrieved from the context. When none of these apply, the translator will usually use a paraphrase or simply add words that can convey that meaning. The following example comes from Portuguese: The copula or copulae (the verb or verbs meaning to be) in all Romance languages derive from the Latin verbs SVM and STO. The former was the copular verb to be (ultimately from the Indo-European copula *h1es-), and the latter mainly meant to stand (ultimately from the Indo-European... ConTeXt is a document preparation system based on the TeX typesetting system. ... A Paraphrase is a statement or remark explained in other words or another way, so as to simplify or clarify its meaning. ...

"Não estou bonito, eu sou bonito."
Literal translation: "I am not (apparently) handsome; I am (essentially) handsome."
Adding words: "I am not handsome today; I am always handsome."
Paraphrase: "I don't just look handsome; I am handsome."

Ancient Greek φθάνω (phthánō), generally accompanied by a complementary verb, approximately translates "I do [something] before someone else realises that I'm doing it" or "I get away with [doing something]." In a similar vein, the syntactically equivalent verb λανθανω (lanthanō), conveys the meaning of escaping the notice of others while doing something, and is often unsatisfactorily rendered by the adverb "secretly". Note: This article contains special characters. ...


German, especially colloquial German, has a wealth of small words, usually adverbs, that are particularly difficult to translate as they do not have a grammatical function, but rather convey a sense in which the message is meant to be understood. The most infamous example perhaps is doch, which roughly means "don't you realize that...?", or "in fact it is so, though someone is denying it". Others are eben (roughly: "in a natural way and without much afterthought", or, just as roughly "That's what I said all along."), or even mal (from einmal, roughly meaning "when it's convenient"). What makes translation of such words more difficult is the fact that they take on different meanings depending on how they are used; sometimes the meaning can only be derived from the intonation or the context. Once the entire sentence is understood; however, it is often possible to find analogous words of phrases in English: for example doch in the sentence Kommen sie doch mal her, bitte almost exactly translates to why don't you come here for a second, please?. In this case, there is no better translation for the word mal than for a second, for a minute or for a moment, etc. (depending on the tone of the text). Another common use of the word doch can be found in the sentence der Krieg war doch noch nicht verloren, which translates to the war wasn't lost yet, after all. These simple examples illustrate how a seemingly difficult word can be translated easily into its English equivalent if its meaning is well understood; several other grammatical constructs in English may be employed to translate these words for each of their occurrences. The same der Krieg war doch noch nicht verloren with slightly changed pronunciation can also mean excuse in defense to a question: ...but the war was not lost yet (... so we fought on). And a use which relies heavily on intonation (and context, of course) could produce yet another meaning: "so the war was REALLY not over yet (as you have been trying to convince me all along)". Another change of intonation makes the sentence a question. Der Krieg war doch noch nicht verloren? would translate into "(You mean) the war was NOT lost (back then)?". An adverb is not a part of speech. ...


The word eben as an expression spoken by itself usually means exactly, when someone is reaffirming someone else's (to the speaker) seemingly obvious observation, for example: "we're going to have to build a bridge across the river in order to get our heavy equipment across." — "(My words) exactly." Although the phrase can be circumscribed with "that's what I've been telling you" or "you just made my point", it is usually possible to find a more fitting term in English which would be used in the same situation; the "untranslatable" word can thereby be translated into a single, equivalent word in the target language, even though the translation only applies to a particular situation; in a different context, another English construct may have to be employed. Luckily, the English language offers a wealth of such modifiers, which annotate a phrase to convey how it is meant to be understood, often relying merely on word order and/or the insertion of a single word or phrase.


Languages that are extremely different from each other, like English and Chinese, need their translations to be more like adaptations. Chinese has no tenses per se, only three aspects. Also, Chinese has specific words for "older brother", "maternal grandfather" etc. The English verb to be does not have a direct equivalent in Chinese. In an English sentence where to be leads to an adjective ("It is blue"), there is no to be in Chinese. (There are no adjectives in Chinese, instead there are stative verbs that don't need an extra verb.) If it states a location, the verb "zài" () is used, as in "We are in the house". And in most other cases, the verb "shì" () is used, as in "I am the leader." Any sentence that requires a play on those different meanings will not work in Chinese. Grammatical tense is a way languages express the time at which an event described by a sentence occurs. ... In linguistics, the grammatical aspect of a verb defines the temporal flow (or lack thereof) in the described event or state. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... In grammar, an adjective is a part of speech that modifies a noun or a pronoun, usually by describing it or making its meaning more specific. ... A stative verb is one which asserts that one of its arguments has a particular property (possibly in relation to its other arguments). ...


Poetry, puns and wordplay

The two areas which most nearly approach total untranslatability are poetry and puns; poetry is difficult to translate because of its reliance on the sounds (for example, rhymes) and rhythms of the source language; puns, and other similar semantic wordplay, because of how tightly they are tied to the original language — consider the Italian adage 'traduttore, traditore': a literal translation is 'translator, traitor'. The pun is lost, though the meaning persists. The Chinese poem Quatrain on Heavenly Mountain by Emperor Gaozong (Song Dynasty) Poetry (from the Greek , poiesis, making or creating) is a form of art in which language is used for its aesthetic qualities in addition to, or in lieu of, its ostensible meaning. ... It has been suggested that dajare be merged into this article or section. ... A rhyme is a repetition of identical or similar terminal sounds in two or more different words (i. ... Semantics (Greek semantikos, giving signs, significant, symptomatic, from sema, sign) refers to the aspects of meaning that are expressed in a language, code, or other form of representation. ...


That being said, many of the translation procedures discussed here can be used in these cases. For example, the translator can compensate for an "untranslatable" pun in one part of a text by adding a new pun in another part of the translated text.


Oscar Wilde's play The Importance of Being Earnest incorporates in its title a pun (resonating in the last line of the play) that conflates the name Ernest with the adjective of quality, earnest. The French title of the translated play is "L'importance d'être Constant", replicating and transposing the pun; however, the character Ernest had to be renamed, and the allusion to trickery was lost. (Other French translations include "De l'importance d'être Fidèle" (faithful) and "Il est important d'être Aimé" (loved), with the same idea of a pun on first name / quality adjective.) Oscar Fingal OFlahertie Wills Wilde (October 16, 1854 – November 30, 1900) was an Irish playwright, novelist, poet, and short story writer. ... The Importance of Being Earnest The Importance of Being Earnest is a play by Oscar Wilde, a comedy of manners in either three or four acts (depending on edition) inspired by W. S. Gilberts Engaged. ...


The Asterix comic strip is renowned for its French puns; its translators have found many ingenious English substitutes. For other uses, see Asterix (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Asterix (disambiguation). ...


Other forms of wordplay, such as spoonerisms and palindromes are equally difficult, and often force hard choices on the translator. For example, take the classic palindrome: 'A man, a plan, a canal: Panama'. A translator might choose to translate it literally into, say, French — 'Un homme, un projet, un canal: Panama', if it were used as a caption for a photo of Theodore Roosevelt (the chief instigator of the Canal), and sacrifice the palindrome. But if the text is meant to give an example of a palindrome, he might elect to sacrifice the literal sense and substitute a French palindrome, such as 'Un roc lamina l'animal cornu' ('A boulder swept away the horned animal'). This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... A palindrome is a word, phrase, number or any other sequence of units (like a strand of DNA) which has the property of reading the same in either direction (the adjustment of spaces between letters is generally permitted). ... Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt, Jr. ...


Douglas Hofstadter discusses the problem of translating a palindrome into Chinese, where such wordplay is theoretically impossible, in his book Le Ton beau de Marot — which is devoted to the issues and problems of translation, with particular emphasis on the translation of poetry. Another example given by Douglas Hofstadter is the translation of the jabberwocky poem by Lewis Carrol, with its wealth of neologisms and portmanteau words, into a number of foreign tongues. Douglas Richard Hofstadter (born February 15, 1945) is an American academic. ... Book cover Le Ton beau de Marot: In Praise of the Music of Language (ISBN 0-465-08645-4), published by Basic Books in 1997, is a book by Douglas Hofstadter in which he explores the meaning, strengths, failings, and beauty of translation. ... Jabberwocky is a poem of nonsense verse written by Lewis Carroll, and found as a part of his novel Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There (1871). ... Photograph of Lewis Carroll taken by himself, with assistance Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (January 27, 1832 – January 14, 1898), better known by the pen name Lewis Carroll, was a British author, mathematician, Anglican clergyman, logician, and amateur photographer. ... A neologism (Greek νεολογισμός [neologismos], from νέος [neos] new + λόγος [logos] word, speech, discourse + suffix -ισμός [-ismos] -ism) is a word, term, or phrase which has been recently created (coined) — often to apply to new concepts, to synthesize pre-existing concepts, or to make older terminology sound more contemporary. ... Look up portmanteau word in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


Foreign objects

Objects unknown to a culture can actually be easy to translate. For example, in Japanese, wasabi わさび is a plant (Wasabia japonica) used as a spicy Japanese condiment. Traditionally, this plant only grows in Japan. It would be unlikely that someone from Brazil (for example) would have a clear understanding of it. However, the easiest way to translate this word is to borrow it. Or you can use a similar vegetable's name to describe it. In English this word is translated as wasabi or Japanese horseradish. In Chinese, people can still call it wasabi by its Japanese sound, or pronounce it by its Kanji characters, 山葵 (pinyin: shān kúi). However, wasabi is currently called 芥末 (jiè mò) or 绿芥 (lǜ jiè) in Chinese. Horseradish is not usually seen in Eastern Asia; people may parallel it with mustard. Hence, in some places, yellow mustard refers to imported mustard sauce; green mustard refers to wasabi. Binomial name Wasabia japonica Matsum. ... Divisions Green algae Chlorophyta Charophyta Land plants (embryophytes) Non-vascular plants (bryophytes) Marchantiophyta—liverworts Anthocerotophyta—hornworts Bryophyta—mosses Vascular plants (tracheophytes) †Rhyniophyta—rhyniophytes †Zosterophyllophyta—zosterophylls Lycopodiophyta—clubmosses †Trimerophytophyta—trimerophytes Pteridophyta—ferns and horsetails Seed plants (spermatophytes) †Pteridospermatophyta—seed ferns Pinophyta—conifers Cycadophyta—cycads Ginkgophyta—ginkgo Gnetophyta—gnetae Magnoliophyta—flowering plants... Binomial name Wasabia japonica Wasabi (Japanese: 山葵 or 和佐比; scientific name Wasabia japonica (syn. ... Salt, sugar and pepper are the most essential condiments in Western cuisine. ... This is a list of vegetables in the culinary sense, which means it includes some botanical fruits like pumpkins and doesnt include herbs, spices, cereals and most culinary fruits and culinary nuts. ... Binomial name Wasabia japonica Matsum. ... Binomial name Armoracia rusticana P.G. Gaertn. ... Japanese writing Kanji Kana Hiragana Katakana Hentaigana Manyōgana Uses Furigana Okurigana Rōmaji   ) are the Chinese characters that are used in the modern Japanese logographic writing system along with hiragana (平仮名), katakana (片仮名), and the Arabic numerals. ... Hanyu Pinyin (Simplified Chinese: ; Traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: ), commonly called Pinyin, is the most common variant of Standard Mandarin romanization system in use. ... East Asia is a subregion of Asia. ... Mustard being spread on bread. ...


See also

Terminology, in its general sense, simply refers to the usage and study of terms, that is to say words and compound words generally used in specific contexts. ... Look up translate in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

References

  • MacIntyre, Ben. Why do Koreans say "a biscuit would be nice" instead of "I want a biscuit"?, The Times, August 21, 2004.

The Times is a national newspaper published daily in the United Kingdom since 1785, and under its current name since 1788. ... August 21 is the 233rd day of the year (234th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

External links

  • BBC News: Congo word "most untranslatable"
  • Harry Potter in Ancient Greek

  Results from FactBites:
 
Untranslatability at AllExperts (3171 words)
Quite often, a text or utterance that is considered to be "untranslatable" is actually a lacuna, or lexical gap, that is to say that there is no one-to-one equivalence between the word, expression or turn of phrase in the source language and another word, expression or turn of phrase in the target language.
The word chosen is, a word supposedly from a language in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The two areas which most nearly approach total untranslatability are poetry and puns; poetry is difficult to translate because of its reliance on the sounds (for example, rhymes) and rhythms of the source language; puns, and other similar semantic wordplay, because of how tightly they are tied to the original language.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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